Ex-USC assistant Tony Bland reaches plea deal in hoops scandal case

Former USC basketball assistant Tony Bland, one of three former coaches charged in a federal criminal case involving bribery, has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

Bland, who was fired by the Trojans in January, is expected to receive probation as part of the plea agreement, according to the sources.

Bland was indicted on four felony charges: conspiracy to commit bribery, honest services wire fraud, mail fraud conspiracy and violating the Travel Act.

The government alleged that Bland accepted a $13,000 bribe in exchange for steering USC players to certain agents and financial advisers once they turned pro. He is also accused of helping facilitate $9,000 in payments to associates of former USC player De'Anthony Melton and prospect Taeshon Cherry.

Two other former assistant coaches -- Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans and Arizona's Emanuel "Book" Richardson -- are scheduled for federal criminal trial in U.S. District Court in New York in April. As of Thursday, Evans and Richardson hadn't yet received a formal plea offer from federal prosecutors, sources told ESPN.

"No decisions about whether to take a plea agreement or go to trial have been made," said Craig Mordock, one of Richardson's attorneys. "In light of other information that has come to light, we're evaluating all options."

Two other men, former Adidas consultant Merl Code and Christian Dawkins, a runner for former NBA agent Andy Miller, also face charges in the case.

Code, Dawkins and Adidas executive James Gatto were found guilty in October of felony charges related to a pay-for-play scheme to send high-profile recruits to Adidas-sponsored schools, including Kansas, Louisville and NC State. They were found guilty on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud after a three-week criminal trial in federal court.

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan set the sentencing date for Gatto, Code and Dawkins for March 5.

Former Auburn assistant Chuck Person and former NBA referee Rashan Michel are scheduled for trial in February. Person is accused of accepting $91,500 in bribes from a federal cooperating witness to influence Auburn players to sign with certain financial advisers and agents.